Alwaght – President Erdogan says Turkey and Ankara-backed militants may extend their aggression deeper into Syrian territory.
In a news conference ahead of his trip to attend UN General Assembly in New York, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “Turkey-backed rebels may extend their zone of control in northern Syria by pushing south and were now focused on heading toward the Islamic State-held town of al-Bab."
Referring to the Syrian lands occupied by Turkey-backed militia groups, Erdogan said the so-called "safety zone" in the region could eventually span an area of 5,000 square kilometers
Turkey last month launched its operation in northern Syria, dubbed Euphrates Shield, to prevent US-backed Kurd rebels from further advancement towards its border with the Arab country. Ankara says it is also fighting the ISIS terrorists in Syria.
"As part of the Euphrates Shield operation, an area of 900 square kilometers has been cleared of terror so far. This area is pushing south," Erdogan said, adding "We may extend this area to 5,000 square kilometers as part of a safe zone."
Turkey is pushing for creation of a "safe zone" or a "no-fly" zone along its Syrian border to prevent Russian air support for Syrian army in its war against terrorists and militia groups, many of which are backed by Ankara and currently fight as its allies against the Kurd rebels and ISIS.